Even the things we love to do can, at times, be burdens. I think this is a fact we can all acknowledge: I love cooking, but preparing potato salad for a large family gathering can be an exhausting bore. I love reading, but reading a book that is dragging on for longer than I wish it would just to find out what happens can be exhausting, too.
When I was young, I loved to play the piano. I still do, but now I have no one reminding me when I should do it. I don't remember how I felt the very first time I played the piano, but the shrieks and sobs wasted on my mom's ears as she sent me to my lesson each week haven't been forgotten.
Every day, my dad or mom would set the timer on the oven for thirty minutes, and for those very long 1,800 seconds, I would plod through the pieces I was supposed to be practicing. During Christmas, when I got to play Rudolph, Let it Snow and other classics, I would play through the buzzers alarm that time was up. On other days, a suspicious parent would peak their head into the silent family room, where I would sit on the floor working on my Piano Theory assignment.
Later, the 30 minutes became an hour, and no one would time me. Eventually, I learned to time my practices to how long it took my dad to go from attentive listener to snoring sleeper. Twenty-three minutes, if I didn't make too many mistakes. And so I'd balance my time spent on the keys to the rhythm of his breathing; avoiding mistakes to avoid waking him from the slumber that the piano's music had induced.